Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Religious Intolerance, Part II

From today's Denver Post: after an official inquiry, the Air Force Academy has determined that a recently-graduated cadet did not violate official policy when he e-mailed a list of favorite quotes to other cadets, including 30 that mentioned God and/or the Bible.

Second Lieutenant Nicholas Jurewicz, who was commissioned as an Air Force officer after graduating from the academy last week, came under scrutiny after sending a farewell message of 300 favorite quotes to junior, sophomore and freshmen cadets. Jurewicz had served as Cadet Wing Commander, the academy's senior-ranking cadet before his graduation and commissioning. BTW, Jurewicz's list also included quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Mahatma Ghandi, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Pink Floyd.

I guess we can all sleep a little bit easier, safe in the knowledge that Lieutenant didn't derive all of his inspiration from (gasp) God and his Holy Word. Had he distributed a list based solely on Christian references, Lt Jurewicz would likely be cited as another example of religious intolerance at the academy, which (according to critics) has resulted in "preferential" treatment for Evangelical Christinans.

The Jurewicz inquiry is (unfortunately) another example of the religious hysteria that currently engulfs the U.S. Air Force Academy. The Post is also reporting that an independent religious panel, which advises the military on the recruitment and training of chaplains, is preparing to conduct its own investigation of the academy's religious "atmosphere." Another group, called "Americans United for Seperation of Church and State" has already issued its own report, claiming that the academy can be a "hostile place" for non-Christians. I'll crawl out on a limb and predict that the new inquiry will express similar "concerns," and generate more, useless "sensitivity" training for academy cadets, faculty and support personnel.

I don't know of anyone that endorses an "official" faith or religious creed at the Air Force Academy or any other military institution. Beyond that, the academy already has the necessary tools to prevent forced conversions or any other intrusions on individual religious beliefs. But the current round of inquiries is not an effort to preserve religious freedom; it's an opportunity for the PC police to enforce their own beliefs on an institution--the U.S. military--that many of them openly loathe.

Incidentally, Lieutenant Jurewicz graduated from the academy with academic, military and athletic distinction. He clearly has the makings of an outstanding officer and leader. I wish him a successful career, beyond the biased scrutiny of the PC mafia.

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